The village of Natal da Matoeira is also a place of culture and meeting – Region of Leiria

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More than a Christmas village, the Association for the Development of Matoeira and Carril (ADEMAC), in the parish of Regueira de Pontes, Leiria, has built a space of culture and meetings for the local community and visitors.

On the square where he explores a bar – the only café space in the place – the ADEMAC team has freed its imagination and rolled up its sleeves in early October to create a village in which references to history and local and regional ethnography is not lacking, such as water mills, nature and caves, or the destruction of Pinhal de Leiria.

A village, with around sixty animated and static miniatures and an electric train this year, has been set up inside a cave that has emerged from the mill and the efforts of several elements of ADEMAC.

The walls were lined with ration paper to recreate the rocky appearance of the caves. Stalactites and stalagmites are other details of the project, which also includes interior and exterior artificial lakes with pumping systems that allow constant circulation of water.

About 300 hours later, the space “officially” opened its doors last week. For the little ones, a mechanical Santa Claus house has also been designed, with a sleigh and a wooden reindeer built for the occasion.

But there is no shortage of other attractions. The hot, simple, chorizo ​​bread, coming out of the traditional wood-fired oven on Sunday morning, did not arrive for “orders”.

Last Sunday, the two “open-air” ovens did not rest until they baked the breads kneaded with 30 kilos of flour.

Bakers for “one day”, Mário Carvalho, António Nóbrega, Maria Emília Miguel, Alexandre Silva and Olívia Coelho have taken care of the morning shift, and have already scheduled an appointment for this Sunday, when the ovens should be running all day.

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In the REGION OF LEIRIA, Carlos Agostinho, treasurer of the council, added that the sale of hot bread has been a great source of income for the association, which plans to build soon a fixed structure to be able to make bread all year round. .

The village of Natal da Matoeira e Carril has grown from year to year, constituting a point of attraction for the approximately 600 inhabitants of the two localities, but also for the parish and visitors from other areas of the municipality.

This year, despite the pandemic, we did not want to give up. The situation in which we find ourselves has given us more desire to develop activities that involve our community, in complete safety ”

Manuela Brás, CEO of ADEMAC

Vítor Matos, president of the Junta de Freguesia, praises the efforts of the association with a project that has taken “the name of the parish further”.

“The crèche evolves from year to year and has spectacular quality. I think this deserves to be recognized, ”he notes, highlighting the work of ADEMAC over the years to energize these two places and improve the quality of life of the population.

As for safety standards, they are guaranteed. Only two people can enter the cave at a time and the mask is mandatory. The village of Natal can be visited until January 23.

News published in the REGION OF LEIRIA edition of December 17, 2020 and edited

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